Beagle with severe itching and scratching

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Beagle with severe itching and scratching

This is a discussion on Beagle with severe itching and scratching within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Several remedies have already been tried and I'm hoping someone can either suggest something I haven't ...

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Old 08-20-2010, 10:45 AM
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Beagle with severe itching and scratching

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Several remedies have already been tried and I'm hoping someone can either suggest something I haven't tried or point out the missing link.

My wife and I have a purebred beagle that is 2 years old. We raised her from 8 weeks and she has had her share of health issues (two cherry-eye surgeries, one hernia surgery, and anal glands removed). Thankfully these problems were one-time fixes and are way behind us. Zoe is very fit, runs with us several times a week, and her coat shines. The one lingering health problem we are still struggling with is her constantly irritated skin and intense scratching.

Her chest and belly are intermittently covered in a rash. It will flare up, cause her to scratch herself raw, then spread into her armpits. She also has raw places along her lips where she rubs her face on the carpet. I say 'intermittent' only because it will go from bad to much worse, then back to bad again. Best way I can describe it.

We tried changing her shampoo and also her food. At this point we have fed her just about everything for some period of time to see if it could be a food allergy. We have tried Science Diet, IAMS, Pedigree, and now Purina One. The changes in food have not made any difference.

About six months ago we took her to the vet over the scratching problem. They prescribed prednizone and benedryl. For the time she was on prednizone it seemed to make a huge difference. Her rashes and raw spots cleared up and she seemed calmer. But obviously we can't keep her on those drugs so it's not a permanent solution.

More recently we have switched to an oatmeal shampoo with baths once a week. I am giving her a cod liver oil capsule once a day to help her skin. Right after her first oatmeal bath she seemed to be soothed for about 48 hours and then the itching/scratching resumed.

We are out of ideas and would really like to see this problem solved. Is it allergies? If so, to what? I don't think it's a food allergy. If it's a grass allergy then that's just awful because she's a beagle and loves to run with us in the woods.

Last thing I'll mention - we've got her on Sentinal and Frontline.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:51 AM
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It's good that you thought to change her food, however all of the brands you have tried have very similar ingredient lists. I would look into changing her to taste of the wild, or if you have a petco near you natural balance is good.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:08 AM
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Yea you need to change her to a high quality grain free food and has she seen a vet?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:29 AM
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Ditto what Cali said. All the foods you have tried still have allergy inducing ingredients: that is lots of grains and fillers. Here's a website you can look up all the foods you've tried, and maybe look for another. http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_f...iews/index.php

You might try a very simple hypoallergenic type food.
OR
If you are really at your wits end, and are willing to try a raw diet, you may find it does miracles. Our dogs have no itching, no anal gland issues, and their ears never need cleaning, since we switched to a raw diet. Its not very hard to do, and you could do a trial for a few weeks with a very simple version based perhaps on chicken. Here is a pretty good website. Leerburg | Feeding a Raw Diet
You really don't need to bother with supplements etc to know if this will help your dog. You could try her simply on chicken with a few veggies. You will find out after a few weeks if her skin problems go away.
But if you do embark on this adventure, do some reading first to learn how to transition. The one caution I would say is if your dog is a "gulper" you need to teach them how to eat raw food with bones in it. Our dogs had no trouble, and its totally normal for canines to crunch up and eat bones, contrary to popular knowledge out there, but anyway, some dogs need a little help slowing down as they learn.
Here's another good book
Amazon.com: Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones (9780975717400): Tom Lonsdale: Books Amazon.com: Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones (9780975717400): Tom Lonsdale: Books
Well, good luck!

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:47 AM
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yup...its still the food IMO. Look for grain free foods. The grains in the dog food are the culprit for most allergies. Time to start flipping bags over and reading ingrediants


edit: inhotep as in the famous egyptian?

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:53 AM
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^i thought that looked familiar!
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:05 PM
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You're looking for a food with no corn or corn products, no wheat and no soy. Taste of the Wild, some Blue Buffalo and there are others. Those 2 are off the top of my head.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:10 PM
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Yeah Imhotep as in the pharoah. Everybody says I look like the guy who played him in The Mummy movies. Probably the lack of hair.

Thanks everyone for the great info. Honestly if I can fix this with different food then I will be thrilled. I will look at what's involved in a raw diet and also look at the dog foods you've suggested. I may start with a new dog food and see if it works. If not then we can move on to a raw diet.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:18 PM
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The problem with the brands you mentioned is they all think corn and corn gluten and corn meal are good things in food. Some add all 3 of these which means the food is mostly corn. Most have also added wheat and soy which also scream allergy. Then add the poor quality meat and cancer causing preservatives and you have dog food. I know at this point you are shocked by this but those dog food manufactures are not concerned about your pets health. They all own large meat packing plants and they simply want to use what they cant sell to humans to our pets. Unfortunately the rendered products are not healthy for our dogs. If you want a low cost replacement go to Costco and get these brands Kirkland or they also have Natures Domain that is grain free, or go to petco and ask for quality brands with NO by-products sugar, corn ,wheat soy meat or bone meal or bha/bht
There are a lot of companies that care about our dogs health.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:08 PM
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I wanted to update on my beagle's skin irritation and hopefully get some help on chapter 2 of this saga.

The day after I posted this thread I went to buy some different dog food. I followed the great advice offerred by everyone here and chose this grain-free food:

Dog Food Reviews - Blue Wilderness Salmon - Powered by ReviewPost

I have also been giving her one cod liver oil capsule each day with her dinner meal and one benadryl pill with her breakfast meal. I also bought some oatmeal shampoo and have been bathing her about once every week. Lastly I have been giving her a 'Nasty Habit' chewable with both meals each day which isn't directly related to the rash but needed to happen because she tries to eat her eliminations sometimes.

To some up, these changes were made together:
- Switched to oatmeal shampoo (once weekly)
- New grain-free food (twice daily)
- Benegryl pill (once daily)
- Cod liver oil capsules (once daily)
- Nasty Habit chewables (twice daily)
- Cortizone spray (for 2-3 days then stopped)

After about a week it seemed like the rash that covered her entire belly, groin and armpits was starting to subside but definitely not gone. At that point my wife applied some cortizone for a few days and it completely cured the rash. It has not come back since.

There is still a big mystery though. Before switching food our dog also had some very irritated skin along her lips and around her eyes. She would rub her face on the carpet to get at those places. After making the list of changes her lips and eyes have gotten much worse. She has started rubbing so hard that she wimpers and yelps. Her eyebrows and lips are completely raw. This goes on several times a day, usually right after she wakes up and then off and on all day.

I am wondering if she is even more allergic to something in the Nasty Habit chewables than she was in the food. I am clueless as to why the problem is now so localized in those two areas instead of being all over her body like it was before.

I think we are getting close to a soothed dog. Any additional insight on tackling the lips/eyes irritation is greatly appreciated!
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